Nicholas and Alexandra - History Learning Site
Alexandra Feodorovna (6 June – 17 July ) was Empress of Russia as the spouse of Nicholas II—the last ruler of the Russian Empire—from their marriage on .. The Dowager Empress had tried to assist Alexandra in learning about the position of empress, but was shunned by the younger woman. Unlike other. Nicholas II or Nikolai II known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer in the Russian Orthodox . Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and German Emperor Wilhelm II were all first cousins of King George V of the United Kingdom. . In foreign relations, Nicholas followed the policies of his father, strengthening the Franco-Russian. Nicholas and Alexandra Nicholas II was a highly sensitive man who preferred to be with his family than involve himself in the day-today running.
It was in fact, the last time that grandmother and granddaughter would see each other, and when Queen Victoria died in Januarypregnancy with her fourth daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia, prevented Alexandra from attending the funeral in London.
Rejection by the Russian people[ edit ] Unlike her vivacious and popular mother-in-law, Alexandra was heartily disliked among her subjects. She came off as very cold and curt, although according to her and many other close friends, she was only terribly shy and nervous in front of the Russian people. She felt her feelings were bruised and battered from the Russians' "hateful" nature. She was also frowned upon by the wealthy and poor alike for her distaste for Russian culture her embrace of Orthodoxy notwithstandingwhether it was the food or the manner of dancing.
She spoke Russian with a heavy accent. Her inability to produce a son also incensed the people. After the birth of the Grand Duchess Olga, her first-born child, Nicholas was reported to have said, "We are grateful she was a daughter; if she was a boy she would have belonged to the people, being a girl she belongs to us.
The disappointment only increased with the birth of her subsequent daughters, Maria and Anastasia. When her "sunbeam", the Tsarevich Alexeiwas born, she further isolated herself from the Russian court by spending nearly all of her time with him; his haemophilia did little to distance their close relationship.
She associated herself with more solitary figures such as Anna Vyrubova and the invalid Princess Sonia Orbeliani, rather than the "frivolous" young Russian aristocratic ladies. These women were constantly ignored by the "haughty" tsarina.
Nicholas II of Russia - Wikipedia
Tuchman in The Guns of August writes of Alexandra as tsarina: Though it could hardly be said that the Czar governed Russia in a working sense, he ruled as an autocrat and was in turn ruled by his strong-willed if weak-witted wife. Beautiful, hysterical, and morbidly suspicious, she hated everyone but her immediate family and a series of fanatic or lunatic charlatans who offered comfort to her desperate soul. Through her, Alexandra was introduced to a mystic by the name of Philippe Nizier-Vachot in Philippe enjoyed a brief influence over the imperial couple, until he was exposed as a charlatan in and was expelled from Russia.
Imperial interference in the canonisation process, which forced the Church to disregard the established rules regarding canonisation, led to an outcry from both laity and clergy alike. Alexandra lived mainly as a recluse during her husband's reign.
She also was reported to have had a terrible relationship with her mother-in-law, Maria Feodorovna. The Dowager Empress had tried to assist Alexandra in learning about the position of empress, but was shunned by the younger woman. Unlike other European courts of the day, in the Russian court, the position of Dowager Empress was senior in rank and precedence to that of the tsarina—a rule that Maria, with the support of Nicholas II, enforced strictly.
The Love Story of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the Last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia | T&C Ph
At royal balls and other formal Imperial gatherings, Maria would enter on her son's arm, and Alexandra would silently trail behind them according to court protocol.
It did not help that Maria tended to be extremely possessive of her sons.
In addition, Alexandra resented the ostentatiously considerate treatment of Maria by her husband the tsar, which only slightly evaporated after the birth of their five children. For Maria's part, she did not approve of her son's marriage to a German bride and was appalled at her daughter-in-law's inability to win favour with the Russian people. In addition, Maria had spent seventeen years in Russia prior to her coronation with Alexander III; Alexandra had a scarce month to learn the rules of the Russian court which she seldom ever followedand this might have contributed to her unpopularity.
Alexandra at least was astute enough not to criticise openly the woman she publicly referred to as "Mother dear. Alexandra disliked in particular the family of Nicholas's senior uncle, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovichand his wife, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovnawho, during the war, openly criticized the Empress. She considered their sons KyrillBoris and Andrei to be irredeemably immoral, and in refused Boris's proposal for the hand of Grand Duchess Olga.
- Nicholas II (1868-1918)
- Wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna
- Nicholas and Alexandra
Alexandra was very supportive of her husband, yet often gave him extreme advice. She was a fervent advocate of the " divine right of kings " and believed that it was unnecessary to attempt to secure the approval of the people, according to her aunt, Empress Frederick of Germanywho wrote to Queen Victoria that "Alix is very imperious and will always insist on having her own way; she will never yield one iota of power she will imagine she wields Her assassination, according to the daughter of the British ambassador, was openly spoken of in aristocratic drawing rooms as the only way of saving the Empire.
Alexandra proved to be a fertile bride and three more girls followed Olga in the next five years: Three more years passed before the Empress gave birth to the long-awaited heir: Alexei Nikolaevich was born in Peterhof on 12 August To his parents' dismay, Alexei was born with hemophiliaan incurable bleeding disease. Having known how the disease claimed the lives of her elder brother Friedrich and her uncle Leopold, Alexandra suffered a great deal of guilt for passing down the disease to Alexei and eventually suffered what many termed as a breakdown due to the worry for her son's health.
Alexandra was determined to care for her children herself; to the shock of the Russian aristocracy, she even breast fed them. Their upbringing mirrored that of Alexandra's own. Tsarevich Alexei sits in front of his parents.Romanovs of Russia Things to Know - Russian royal family
Grand Duchess Olga was reportedly shy and subdued. As she grew older, Olga read widely, both fiction and poetry, often borrowing books from her mother before the Empress had read them. She was the cleverest of her siblings and possessed a quick mind, according to her tutors. While she adored her father, whom she physically resembled, she had a more distant relationship with Alexandra.
If a favour was needed, all the Imperial children agreed that "Tatiana must ask Papa to grant it. She was the daughter who most resembled Alexandra, both in terms of appearance and personality. Tatiana was also considered the most elegant of her sisters, and more attractive than Olga. The third Grand Duchess, Maria, was sweet and gentle and liked to talk about marriage and children. The tsar thought she would make an excellent wife and Maria was considered the "angel" of the family.
Maria was also considered to be the most beautiful of her sisters, along with Tatiana. Anastasia, exuberant and vivacious, was the youngest and most famous daughter, and was dubbed the "shvibzik," Russian for "imp. Her aunt and godmother, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, once recalled a time when Anastasia was teasing so ruthlessly that she slapped the child. They were known as the 'Big Pair' and 'Little Pair' respectively.
Although, in private, they still referred to their parents as "Mama" and "Papa", in public, they referred to them as "the Empress" and "the Emperor".
Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse)
Bythe four daughters had blossomed into young women. They were frequently treated as one, with the nickname "OTMA", taken from their first names, and their individuality was somewhat lost, particularly after the birth of their brother.
Alexandra doted on Alexei. The children's tutor Pierre Gilliard wrote, "Alexei was the centre of a united family, the focus of all its hopes and affections.
His sisters worshiped him. He was his parents' pride and joy. Both parents devoted much time to the boy and left the government of Russia to others. Alexandra was a very protective mother, but she was also determined to see that her son became tsar. Alexandra believed that she was more suited to do this than her husband: However, the reign got off to a bad start from the first day.
At the coronation ceremony inthe crowd gathered for the traditional distribution of gifts. The crowd was understandably large and the police had to force a way through for Nicholas.
This caused a stampede and 1, people were crushed to death and many more were injured. Despite this tragedy, Nicholas and Alexandra acted as if nothing had happened and attended the coronation ball that evening just hours after the deaths. This event showed that Nicholas, the sensitive family man, had less sensitivity for those not in his gilded circle. As a ruler, Nicholas had many failings. However, the most important was his inability to dominate events and take charge.
As an example, his coronation address was merely a repeat of what Alexander III had said. Senior ministers such as Plehve and Witte started to carry out their own policies as opposed to what Nicholas might have wanted. He, in turn, was more concerned with family issues and was seemingly bewildered by major affairs of state.
Nicholas had inherited a nation undergoing enormous changes. Whether Russia would have experienced serious social unrest under Alexander III is open to speculation. However, the industrialisation of Russia was starting to create serious social problems in the cities which the authorities were not dealing with — and probably could not deal with. The speed of industrialisation, financed by French and other European money, had developed a momentum of its own. Therefore, Nicholas had inherited, ina nation that may well have rebelled without the input of Lenin and other revolutionaries.
What would Alexander have done in such a situation? At least he would have been decisive even if his decisions may have been wrong. Nicholas simply could not be decisive. His position was not helped by the fact that his wife had a series of favourites who used their position to influence him via his wife.
The influence of her most favourite was a disaster for Russia — Gregory Rasputin. The three most senior government ministers under Nicholas who dominated Russia were Pobedonestev, Witte and Plehve.
Count Witte was foreign minister. He had alienated many in government because he did not come from old landed stock — he was a nouveau riche who had made his money as a railway entrepreneur.